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The worst bit about being a writer

I've been in this game for 6 years now. That might not seem long to some people who have spent decades honing their craft, but I like to think 6 years of wrestling with characters and creating storylines earns me a certain badge of "Survival" within the industry.

So why is it that putting a book out there and waiting for reviews to come in literally eats me alive? In the last few years I haven't managed to thicken my skin at all. I still worry incessantly about how my words will be reviewed. For every four star I get, instead of celebrating what is a solid rating, I tear myself to shreds wondering what I've done wrong to lose a star. What could I have done to give those readers the extra star they craved?

With the release of Tears of Ink slowly approaching I'm thinking about this more and more. Like a sucker for punishment I'm logging into Goodreads a couple of times a day to check what people think. And it's all good...I should be proud... but instead all I can ask myself is "What could I have given those readers? What would have given them everything they desire?"

And the truth is, maybe I will never know. Maybe I will write for decades to come and I will never understand everything. Maybe for some readers my work will never be a complete five star. Maybe at some point soon I will have to accept that's just the way it is.

Even writing that I know I will never accept that fact. I know I will always search, always learn so I can one day please everyone--maybe I will make myself crazy trying. Maybe I'm crazy already even worrying about that one missing star?

I don't know. All I do know is that the next two weeks are going to be very very long!

I wonder how many other authors out there are like this? Or am I alone on my self doubting planet?

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